Michelle Warner's business is mentoring entrepreneurs. She knows that you are passionate about your business idea but are hesitant to start. She takes those of you that are unsure and guides you down the path that she's already been down. She's your business BFF!
Michelle also created her business website in WordPress so she could maintain control of her company's most important asset.
Read on to learn more about Michelle, what she does for fellow entrepreneurs and her take on building her WordPress site.
When did you start The Strategy Studios and why?
I started the Strategy Studios about a year ago because I saw too many would-be business owners never getting around to starting their business, or starting a business and then never playing big because they weren’t confidant in the decisions they were making, and it physically hurt me to see people feeling that way.
Partly because I’ve started companies myself and remember feeling that way when I was a first-time entrepreneur. And also because I realized when I was running my own companies that my favorite thing about the job was actually helping my fellow entrepreneurs figure out solutions to messy problems they were facing in getting their stuff off the ground.
So I decided I should probably stop building my own stuff and focus on helping everyone else. Ever since then I’ve been happily mentoring entrepreneurs and proudly watching their companies grow and prosper.
What do you feel makes your target audience special?
Well first of all I love entrepreneurs. I’m one myself, you are as well, so you know it takes a special kind of courage to put your idea out there and I have so much respect for anyone who goes down this path.
And then factoring in that most of the entrepreneurs I work with are doing this for the first time makes them even more special to me. As an entrepreneur it takes an insane amount of courage every time you start a new company, and the first time, well you can’t even measure the amount of courage that takes. So I have mad respect for my clients and will go to the ends of the earth to make sure they’re successful.
Why did you decide to build your WordPress site yourself?
There were a few reasons. First I knew that since it was a new company I’d be learning everyday and wanting to make changes quickly and on the fly, so I didn’t want to have to go through someone else to do that.
I also wanted to know I had complete control over my site. My work is almost all online-based so my website is the center of everything and I wasn’t comfortable turning over control to my new company’s most important asset.
I wanted to know that I was in control of my business. Down the line I’m sure I’ll outsource some design and special features, but I’ll always keep the core of the site in my hands. That’s just how I roll.
What was the most difficult thing about creating your WordPress site?
I was familiar enough that no one piece was a huge struggle to figure out, so I’d say the most difficult thing was being in charge of it all and not having a second set of eyes on things.
When you’re coding (a term I use very loosely), designing, linking up back end systems for payment, email, etc. along with writing and editing the site by yourself it’s difficult to take that step back and make sure you’re communicating what you want to communicate. I’m constantly finding things that I want to tweak and change.
What was the easiest thing about it?
Choosing the color palette. I love my colors.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
Start Now. You’ll be ok and you already know enough. My whole business is around helping people finally start what they’ve been planning to start for awhile, so “Start Now” is my mantra. In fact I offer a whole free training series on my website on this topic!
If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?
I would take my own advice and start Strategy Studios sooner! I probably knew I wanted to do it for a year to 18 months before I actually went for it. Which makes me even more passionate about helping others not make that mistake.
How long did it take you to launch your site?
A couple of weeks. I had the basic site up in 2 days but then took time to add in all of the backend plug-ins I use in order to accept payment, schedule client appointments, enable email and program sign-ups, all that fun stuff that has to communicate in the background.
How do you promote your site?
I approach my site and online work in general as digital networking. It’s the same approach I take when I’m in the room with people, only I’m communicating online. So I promote it by participating in Facebook groups, and connecting with people over email, Skype and all the social networks. I also do a lot of speaking and that drives traffic to my site.
Do you have an email list, and if so, what is the most effective way you have grown your email list?
Yes, I have an email list, and the most effective way I’ve grown it is by offering incredibly valuable free content up front.
Do you earn money from your site, and if so, how? Affiliate marketing, ads, products, etc.?
Yes – my clients book my mentoring and advising services through my site.
Who are your favorite bloggers or podcasts?
I’m loving podcasts right now so I’ll mostly focus there:
· Good Life Project from Jonathan Fields
· Ask Pat from Pat Flynn
· The Moth
And a few blogs on my reading list:
· Seth Godin
· And this isn’t technically a blog, it’s a video series, but lately Susan Ferraro’s been blowing my mind over at easypeasyloa.com.
Need help starting? Check out the Strategy Studios and sign up for her free “It's OK to Start Free Business Building Fest!” Find her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/warnermichelle and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/strategystudios.